Lifestyle & Culture

Mónica Da Silva in Lisbon: My Top 5 recommendations when you’re craving international cuisines

One of the best things about living in Lisbon is the wide variety of options you can choose from when eating out. You can experience all the flavors from the five continents without leaving the city. When looking for authenticity, I find that family-owned restaurants are always the place to go, so I tend to avoid big chains or glamorous places and go to the small hidden ones.

I am a vegetarian so all the restaurants in this list have delicious vegetarian options and for the meat-lovers, don’t worry, my couple eats meat, has been with me to all these places and has approved this list. 

No. 5: Sabor Mineiro – Brazilian 

Follow them: @gruposabormineiro

Visit them: Av. José Malhoa 16D

Prices: from 10 euros to 25 per euros per meal per person

Brazilians eat a lot of meat and even though I don’t, I love to go there when I feel like eating delicious home-cooked food. They have an all-you-can-eat buffet with different types of rice, beans, salads, fish, fruit, cheeses, finger food and so on. I love the way Brazilian people cook their beans because it reminds me of the way we make them in my country.

However, the main attraction is their meat rodízio* in which they offer over 20 different types of meat. They sometimes offer live music and the restaurant gets quite crowded so make sure to call and make a reservation in advance. 

*Rodízio is a Brazilian way of serving food similar to a carvery.

No. 4. Dim Sum – Cantonese

Visit them: Rua Coro de Santo Amaro de Oeiras 8

Prices: from 10 euros to 30 euros per meal per person

Dim sums are a group of over a thousand small dishes that exist within China but that are commonly associated with Cantonese cuisine and they are the specialty of this restaurant. Dim sums have many different ingredients, flavors, colors, textures and even cooking styles. You can choose their surprise menus to have the most authentic dim sum experience or you can choose the ones you prefer from their extensive menu.

Their restaurant is huge, but it gets quite crowded so it’s better to make a reservation. They also have two smaller rooms in the restaurant where they organize and cater small parties and meetings. 

There’s no website, but you can see details here on TripAdvisor.

No 3. Lebanese Corner – Lebanese

Follow them: @lebanese__corner

Visit them: Largo do Rato 3A

Prices: from 6.50 euros to 15 euros per meal per person

I am very picky with this type of food because I have tried some horrible falafel in my life, including the one I have attempted to make at home. But I can say that the best falafel I have ever eaten is made in this restaurant. It’s crunchy outside and soft inside, with the perfect combination and balance of spices. This place is really hyped nowadays and their space is quite small so it’s not rare to see a line of people waiting outside.

But believe me, it is completely worth the wait. 

There’s no website, but you can see their Facebook page here.

No 2. Yaso – Japanese & Chinese

Follow them: @yaso.pt

Visit them: multiple locations

Prices: from 10 euros to 20 euros per meal per person

When Yaso started, they only had one restaurant in Lisbon. I wanted to eat ramen but found most of the options quite overpriced so, honestly, I went for the cheapest and I regret nothing. I got to know one of my favorite restaurants in the city, you can literally find me there every weekend during fall and winter.

Nowadays, they have four restaurants and plan on keeping growing, which only proves my point of how amazing their food is. Their specialty is ramen and yakisoba but they also have other Japanese and Chinese dishes.

Pro tip: Order the violet ice cream for dessert and thank me later. 

No 1. Sherpa Momo – Nepali

Visit them: Calçada Santana 11

Price: from 7 euros to 15 euros per meal per person

The first time I went to Sherpa Momo I was feeling adventurous and wanted to eat a type of food I had never eaten before. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this place; it’s a super cozy family-owned restaurant and you can smell the food from the parallel street. Everything there is just amazing but their signature dish are momos: small dumplings filled with veggies or meat that can be steamed or fried.

I am a fan of spicy food but when they say “very spicy sauce” they actually mean it so, watch out. Even though the spices and flavors are quite far from the ones I grew up tasting, this place is my number one because I always feel at home when I sit there and enjoy their wonderful food. 

There’s no website, but you can see their Facebook page here.

Wait … what about dessert? 

L’éclair – French patisserie

Follow them: @leclair.lisbon

Visit them: Av. Duque de Ávila 44

Prices: éclairs can range from 4.95 euros to 9.90 euros

I don’t have a sweet tooth at all and I rarely crave sweet things but when I do, I want to eat the perfect piece of patisserie and I always find it in l’éclair. This is without a doubt one of the best patisseries in Lisbon.

This project started in 2014 and since then they have been offering a wide range of French desserts such as éclairs and macarons. Furthermore, you can also request cakes such as St. Honoré, mille-feuille, framboisier and many more.

I got my sister a mille-feuille from l’éclair this year for her birthday and I’m afraid I won’t be able to outdo myself present-wise ever again because that cake was simply unforgettable. 

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Read more from Mónica here in Dispatches’ archive.

See more here about Lisbon.

 | Website

Mónica da Silva is half-Venezuelan, half Portuguese and has lived in Venezuela, Portugal, Spain and Germany. She has studies linguistics and has a Bachelor’s Degree in European Studies. Besides contributing to Dispatches, she works remotely as an English teacher, which allows her to be on the move as often as she wants. 

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